At NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show, Alibaba launched “B2B Tuesday,” a new awareness initiative designed to spotlight and support US-based, B2B-focused small and medium-sized businesses and help them capture the global e-commerce opportunity. At the conference, John Caplan, Head of B2B North America, Alibaba.com, and Nicole Reyhle, Founder of Retail Minded and Spokesperson for American Express Small Business Saturday, sat down with host Matt Rubel to talk about how US small businesses can take advantage of the B2B opportunity to establish and grow their global footprint.
Caplan says the B2B market is actually larger than the B2C market and that small businesses are migrating toward B2B digital commerce as they reconsider what it takes to acquire B2C customers directly. He notes that the average order value on a site like eBay is $35, versus $3,000 on a B2B platform like Alibaba.com, so the potential of digital B2B selling is highly appealing for SMBs.
He also notes that small businesses are optimistic overall. A recent Alibaba.com business confidence survey found that more than 60% of US SMBs are very confident about the economy, that 54% of them think B2B digital selling will be critical for their future and that 59% think cross-border trade is crucial to their success.
Reyhle says that it hasn’t always been easy for small businesses to find the partners and tools they need to grow globally through cross-border selling. But, today, they can:
- Learn how to source and sell globally: Small businesses can learn about the opportunities Alibaba.com offers through “Build Up” events in different US cities. Owners and operators can meet face to face with Alibaba at these events to learn about sourcing and selling on Alibaba.com.
- Access new educational content: The B2B Tuesday program will include educational content for small businesses about the partners, tools and business resources available to them. Alibaba will offer new content across its platforms every Tuesday throughout the year to help SMBs grow globally.
- Leverage industry events to connect with partners: NRF’s Big Show and the biannual Independent Retailer Conference in Las Vegas provide the kind of connectivity and relationship-building opportunities small businesses need, Reyhle says. Operators can learn about potential partners, tools and growth opportunities at these events, as well as network and develop business.
To hear how one small US business went from zero to $1.4 million in sales in just 12 months on Alibaba.com, listen to the full episode.